Citation: Turner, Roger. "In ‘Toon with the Weather" November 2009.
Roger Turner studies the historical connections
between infrastructure, knowledge and the environment, and is completing
a PhD in history of science at the University of Pennsylvania. Priya
Ratneshwar, who initiated this media production, is a Staff Writer for
the External Affairs office at the School of Arts and Sciences,
University of Pennsylvania.
The television weather report evolved out of
military training practices used during World War II. Pilots learned
meteorology from cartoon-illustrated manuals, which resonated with the
pervasive understanding of comic art in American visual culture. After
the war, meteorologists used similar kinds of cartoon images to help TV
viewers understand the weather. During the early 1950s, cartooning was
an obligatory skill for TV weathercasters, and cartoons continue to
influence how weather and climate information is presented on TV.